Dear Minnie prestige cover - Centenary of WWI: 1916
The Dear Minnie prestige cover is limited to just 3,500. The pictorial envelope has the Matron Grace Wilson stamp postmarked in red foil.Read more
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The Dear Minnie prestige cover is limited to just 3,500. The pictorial envelope has the Matron Grace Wilson stamp from the Centenary of WWI: 1916 stamp issue postmarked in red foil - First day of issue | 12 April 2016 | Frenchs Forest NSW 2086.
The prestige cover includes facsimiles of a letter sent by Grace in 1915 to her sister Minnie.
This stamp issue is the third in a series marking the centenary of World War I. It focuses on events of 1916 as they affected Australians on the frontline and at home.
In March 1916, the troops joined allied forces on the Western Front, a system of trenches that stretched 750 kilometres from the Belgian coast through France to the Swiss border. British and French troops had been engaged there since late 1914. The first Australian troops were sent to the comparatively quiet Armentières area, in the north, where they were introduced to trench warfare – represented in the stamp “Arrival on the Western Front”. Their first major battles were the costly conflicts at Fromelles, in French Flanders, and, soon after, at Pozières and Mouquet Farm, in the Somme valley. “The Somme offensive” stamp shows Australian machine gunners returning from the frontline near Pozières.
During 1916, Grace Wilson – matron on Lemnos in 1915, in Egypt and Britain in 1916, and in Abbeville, France, in 1917 – was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class for “distinguished service in the field”. She was also awarded three “Mentioned in Despatches” that year for her outstanding service, and a fourth time in 1918. She was one of around 3,000 Australian nurses to volunteer.
On the home front, news of the massive number of casualties on the frontline led to a decline in voluntary enlistment. Labor Prime Minister Billy Hughes believed more troops was the only way to win the war, and Britain pressured him to commit 5,500 men per month. The vexed question of conscription proved divisive politically, socially and religiously. The first of two referenda was held on 28 October 1916, the second on 20 December 1917. The “no” vote won by a narrow margin in 1916.
- Issue date: 12 April 2016
- Issue withdrawal date: 31 October 2016
- FDI withdrawal date: 11 May 2016
- Denominations: 5 x $1
- Stamp & product design: Andrew Hogg Design
- Prestige booklet: Janet Boschen
- Printer: McKellar
- Paper gummed: Tullis Russell Red Phos
- Paper self-adhesive: BC100
- Printing process: Offset lithography
- Stamp size: 35mm x 35mm
- Minisheet size: 170mm x 80mm
- Perforations: 14.28x14.28
- Sheet layout: Module of 50
- FDI postmark: Frenchs Forest NSW 2086
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